Sutton-on-Trent Primary School builds new play area with thanks to J G Pears matched funding
A school’s new play area is being enjoyed by pupils, giving them access to outdoor play all year around.
Sutton-on-Trent Primary School have extended their existing playground with a new all weather extension.
The play area was built with a focus on varied and creative play and features a bark chip area with a playboat, a natural climbing area with tree stumps and logs, a quiet reading shed, chess tables and a rainbow roof shelter for sensory experience.
In total, approximately £50,000 was invested in developing the new play spaces, as well as a fire pit area and wild learning garden.
Green spaces were also enhanced with aromatic planting beds.
School head, Jenny Hutchinson, said: “The school has amazing grounds and outdoor play and learning is really important to staff and pupils.
“We were limited by the weather and restricted to a square tarmac playground between November and March. This extension has enabled the pupils to have better quality play for the whole year.”
The opening of the new area also means that the existing playground can now be opened up for sports and ball games, such as basketball.
Newby Leisure, who built the play area, were on site for a few weeks giving children the chance to see it develop and progress.
“The first time the students went out to play was one of the most amazing experiences of my teaching career,” said Mrs Hutchinson.
“They were so excited to play on it, trying out all the areas, doing gymnastics on the astro turf, creating jumping courses with the logs and generally exploring their new area.
“They absolutely love it, and there has been a noticeable improvement to the way the children play and socialise at play and lunchtimes.
“We had to have an extended playtime as the children were just too excited to come back inside.”
Fundraising for the play area began around 18 months ago, with the school’s PTA running events, including Christmas and summer fayres, race nights, chocolate bingo and children's discos.
Grant applications from organisations such as the village festival committee and youth club trust fund also helped.
Business, JG Pears also kindly agreed to match whatever the PTA raised, meaning the whole project could be completed by this summer.